Passengers jetting between Seoul and Jakarta later this year on Asiana are in for an upgrade. Routes Online is reporting that Asiana is swapping out its regular A330-300 for the larger and newer A350-900XWB over the 2019/2020 winter season.
Beginning 27 October 2019, OZ761, the daily 3.40pm departure from Seoul’s Incheon Airport will be operated by the A350. The return flight, OZ762, departs Jakarta’s Soekarno Airport at 10.30pm for the overnight run back to Seoul.
Asiana has eight A350-900s in its fleet. They currently fly from Seoul to Vietnam, China, Japan, London and several North America cities. Asiana has a further 21 A350s on order, comprising of 12 A350-900s and nine A350-100s. The outstanding aircraft are being delivered over the next few years, enabling A350 services to be introduced to new cities.
Now, it’s Jakarta’s turn for the sleek new aircraft.
Asiana’s A350 business class
Asiana’s A350-900 aircraft are slightly larger than their A330-300s, carrying about 30 passengers more. Asiana’s A350-900 Jakarta flights will operate a three class configuration. The business class cabin seats 28 passengers. Premium economy will seat 26 passengers and the main economy cabin will seat 247 passengers.
In business class, every passenger will get to enjoy direct aisle access. A look at the seat map indicates that the two adjoining center seats alternate between the cozy ‘honeymoon’ seats and aisle seats with more space between the two passengers.
The beige tones of the business class cabin, only months old, have been criticized by The Points Guy for already looking tired and dated.
The solo window seats also alternate between being hard up against the window or closer to the aisle. The business class seats have a pitch of 77 inches when in the lie-flat position. The seatback entertainment screens are 18.5 inches.
Asiana’s A350 premium economy cabin
Asiana isn’t doing a great deal to distinguish its premium economy cabin from its main cabin.
The 36 seat premium economy cabin, which Asiana calls “Economy Smartium”, has a 3-3-3 configuration. It’s the same seat as in economy class, only there is more legroom.
Long haul economy Smartium passengers have lounge access – not something you see every day as standard for the premium economy cabin. Unfortunately, the six and a half hour flight to Jakarta is outside the Asiana long haul definition of Australia, USA, and Europe.
However, Asiana is a member of Star Alliance and Star Alliance Gold on a partner airline will unlock lounge access for any passenger on this flight, regardless of class of travel. Alternatively, Priority Pass members have access to a variety of lounges at Incheon and Soekarno airports.
Asiana’s A350 economy cabin
In the main economy cabin of the Asiana A350, passengers are also seated in a 3-3-3 layout. There are a couple of exceptions. A look at the seat map suggests 30A and 30K are the choicest seats. 29B, 29C, 29H and 29J also offer bonus legroom and ease of access.
Asiana has a solid reputation. It lives in the shadow of South Korea’s dominant flag carrier, Korean Airlines, but has also avoided much of the controversy that surrounds Korean Airlines.
The Asiana A380s are especially well regarded and if the A380 Asiana inflight service and the soft product is carried through onto the A350s, then their new A350 flights to Jakarta should prove a winner with the traveling public.
Simple Flying asked Asiana for a comment on their new A350 service to Jakarta but had received no response prior to publication.